For much of his career, Reeve Carney made a conscious attempt to stay away from acting.
He was born in 1983, after all, and grew up in a time it wasn’t cool to be an actor and a musician. So, even though he’d done some acting as a kid – really just a couple modeling gigs – he gave it up pretty much the minute he discovered the electric guitar.
“I didn’t even think you could do both,” says Carney, the 33-year old musician-turned-actor-turned-musician who is currently on the road doing opening sets for bluesman Jonny Lang. The pair stop tomorrow night at the Tower Theatre.
These days, Carney may be know for his work on Broadway and television. He starred as Peter Parker in the musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” before doing three seasons as the immortal Dorian Gray on the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful.” He was also in the video for Taylor Swift’s tune “I Knew You Were Trouble” and more recently played Riff Raff the Fox remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He is slated to star in “Mystery White Boy,” which chronicles the life of the late singer songwriter Jeff Buckley.
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But Carney started in the music scene. He was a kind of prodigy, playing professionally since the age of 15. He had a gig with BB King (and also Lang, who he toured with in the early mid 2000s). By his early 20s, he had his own band (which included his brother Zane) a deal with Interscope records (for 2010’s “Mr. Green Vol. 1”) and gig opening for Arcade Fire and U2.
Currently, he’s performing a series of solo, acoustic sets in support of his album “Youth is Wasted,” which was released in October. He wrote and recorded the album himself in a make shift studio in his apartment in Hells Kitchen, New York.
“The song had to be the central focus on this album,” Carney says.
“The voice and the songs. Anything that was not directly supporting that, I would just mute,” he says. Self producing the album and playing all the instruments allowed Carney to have that kind of complete control over the product, without any sort of hurt feelings.
“I don’t necessarily love telling people what to do,” he says.
While Carney is playing solo for this current run of gigs, he’s hoping to put together a full band for future tours.
Opening for Jonny Lang
- 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
- Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave.
- 559-485-9050. www.towertheaterfresno.com